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Square Enix Attempting Final Fantasy XIV Damage Control

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the better-get-cid dept.

Role Playing (Games) 215

basscomm writes "Just the other day, it was discussed here on Slashdot that Final Fantasy XIV was released into the world as a buggy, incomplete mess. Now, it's been announced that due to 'generous amounts of player feedback' that lots of changes are coming (honest!). And, as a result, anyone who registers their game before October 25th will have their 30-day trial upgraded to a 60-day trial. But will it be enough to keep the game from hemorrhaging players once the free trials end?"

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215 comments

Probably not. Sorry. (4, Insightful)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917448)

Not to be pessimistic, but I don't think it's possible to completely rewrite the game in just a few weeks.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917504)

I dunno about that, how hard could it be rewriting it into World of Pongcraft?

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (2, Interesting)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917810)

There won't be, it's a "we're fixing it, honest!" announcement. The problems that don't relate to the core design may get fixed within a year or two if it's still running and receiving enough funding / staff to do anything on that scale.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918554)

But are they spending time fixing the game, or their reputation? Politicians are famous for the latter (and Apple, as of late). The former requires a bit more thought and time.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917970)

Indeed. They've got some very, very serious rethinking to do just to get the game to a state where playing it doesn't cause actual pain. I'd say that the top priorities would need to be:

- A complete overhaul of the user-interface, rewriting it from the ground up. There is basically nothing in the current UI that strikes me as salvagable.
- Implementation of an auction house or equivalent feature to allow for an actually-workable player-based economy.
- Performance tuning so that the thing actually runs in a sensible way on even high end PCs. There's a huge mismatch at the moment between the quality of the visuals and the level of performance that a high end gaming PC can achieve.
- Servers spread around the world, so that the game doesn't feel worse and worse the further you are from Japan.
- Various other major bugfixes, particularly a fix to the "can't alt-tab out of full-screen mode" bug, which was present in FFXI as well.

Those strike me as an extremely fundamental set of changes, some of which would involve substantial rewrites of the game engine. Moreover, doing all of that would not guarantee the game's success. It would just pull it up to the kind of level where it doesn't feel actively broken. Even after doing all of that, the game still wouldn't even have begun to compete with the likes of WoW, Eve Online or LotR:O.

Given that Square-Enix never really made any fundamental changes to the FFXI formula over the years (beyond belatedly adding a windowed-mode option), I can't honestly see they'll even be able to get over the first hurdle. This game looks doomed to me.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (0)

rfunches (800928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918054)

- Various other major bugfixes, particularly a fix to the "can't alt-tab out of full-screen mode" bug, which was present in FFXI as well.

Would people stop propagating this myth that Alt+Tab is a bug? It's not a bug and Square-Enix said so [playonline.com] . The PC version of FFXI was intended to be full-screen only without the ability to Alt+Tab, and the linked notice clearly implies it was implemented to prevent the use of cheating tools. (The effectiveness of that is beside the point.)

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918122)

Not being able to do multiple things on a computer at once is ridiculous. And trying to prevent cheating tools is also stupid. People will attempt it anyway.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (2, Insightful)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918202)

for ffxi maybe, but for ffxiv its lame excuses, nothing more. i play windowed and my client crashes when i minimize/maximize the game.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918588)

If it's not a bug, then Square Enix is hopeless. It's that simple.

If Square Enix doesn't think that Alt-Tab crashing the game is a critical bug that must be fixed by the next release, then, well, there's no hope for them, because they'll never get to the other glaring "this is a PC and not a console" issues.

Plus, here's a challenge: explain how crashing on Alt-Tab prevents cheating. The simple fact of the matter is that it doesn't, and even if it did, people were able to release programs that windowed FFXI, thereby making the whole "Alt-Tab" issue moot.

The real reason Alt-Tab crashes the game is because the PC engine is amateur hour. Handling Alt-Tab in Direct3D is annoying, because it basically means that you have to reload everything into the GPU. The easy solution is to say "screw that" and just crash. It's fairly obvious which route Square Enix went.

If Square Enix wanted to fix the game engine, they should just throw the entire thing out and license Unreal or another game engine. Their current engine is hopeless. But it's the whole "not invented here" thing taking over, so we'll never see a capable PC game from them.

I was hoping that their experience in FFXI would have taught them some lessons on how to make a PC game, but it's obvious that it hasn't even taught them lessons on how to run an MMO.

I'd love to see them make a competent Final Fantasy-based MMO, but their current offerings show that they're incapable of doing so. It's kind of sad - Final Fantasy XI showed that there is potential in a Final Fantasy MMO, but it along with Final Fantasy XIV have proven that Square Enix will never be able to realize that potential.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918766)

Everquest was the same way about Alt+Tab, you could do it, but you couldn't come back. Many swears were shouted to the heavens due to a stray press of the Win Key.

Never viewed it as too big a deal, if you really need to alt+tab out then you aren't really playing your game anyways.

PC engine (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918782)

The real reason Alt-Tab crashes the game is because the PC engine is amateur hour.

Please leave the TurboGrafx [wikipedia.org] out of this.

But seriously, with both the 360 and the PC using DirectX on a Windows-based kernel, what's the big difference?

Re:PC engine (2, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918878)

FFXIV isn't being released on the Xbox 360. It's a PS3/PC "exclusive."

So, yeah - given how horrible the Windows version is, that might explain why there's no Xbox 360 version. They simply have no one who knows how to write code for the Xbox 360 or Windows.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (2, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918628)

It's not a bug in the implementation, if it's coded according to spec. However, most people would say that it's a bug in the specification.

I'm also pretty sure it violates some sort of Windows Logo or similar requirement.

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918640)

There is no different to the users between a bug and a flaw-by-design. The nomenclature is irrelevant.

Charles Kettering quote (1)

chriswaco (37809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918098)

"The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of meeting a deadline is forgotten." -Charles Kettering

Re:Probably not. Sorry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918556)

You don't understand this game's director. He is a master of causing battered wife syndrome.

What's the appeal of those games? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917450)

Can somebody explain to me the appeal of those games? Seriously, I'm not joking. What is it about those games that people like? As far as I can tell, they're nothing but crazy Japanese crap.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917516)

I think it's the hermaphrodite's version of Barbie dolls, but I'm not sure.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (2, Insightful)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917532)

I assume you're talking about the offline Final Fantasy games.. Those tend to have a nice, somewhat deep storyline that western games often lack.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917602)

I assume you're talking about the offline Final Fantasy games.. Those tend to have a nice, somewhat deep storyline that western games often lack.

Unfortunately, it's frequently at the cost of interesting gameplay and/or player-controlled character development (that is to say, it's the point at which a role-playing game becomes a role-fulfilling game).

Dunno, it's just my opinion that if a deep storyline was the most important part of video games, I'd watch movies or read books instead. Cheaper that way.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917626)

Hah, deep storyline. Funny story. The video games that are making strides towards having a decent storyline are not JRPG's. And while they're making progress, they are still nowhere near the level of movies and books. Admittedly, it's a different medium so they get other advantages that can't be found in movies or books. Storyline isn't one of them.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (3, Insightful)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917796)

During the mid- to late- 90's I'd heartily agree; Square's RPGS were great in those days, and I still pick up Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI from time to time. These days, their popularity is more due to leftover nostalgia and riding on the coattails of their classics. Which, if response the the latest two games is an indicator, may soon be running dry.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (4, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917546)

They're fun (Generally, maybe not this one)

Now someone explain to me the appeal of poems. As far as I can tell they're nothing but crazy poetic crap.
That can't just be because they're not to my taste or I haven't put the time into appreciating them, they're just crap.

Re:What's the appeal of those games? (1)

Praseodymn (195411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918420)

this needs to be modded funny.

There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (3, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917452)

From the reviews I read it sounds like the entire concept was borked. The game itself is buggy, the installation is a mess, the game play is boring and tedious. One review I saw showed a five minute gameplay clip where the character was being relentlessly attacked by butterflies.

Re:There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917702)

actually, no. The concept was great. The implementation was shit.

Menus that are 9-15 deep, where you can't move while navigating them is beyond retarded. There is zero reason square had to design things like that except "it was for the console" and thus they bombed.

Re:There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917818)

The underlying problem is, Final Fantasy doesn't belong in an MMO. And after the way FF13 ("world's most advanced corridor simulator, fuck even the illusion that you have sidequests") turned out, Square had better turn things around in a big way or 15 will be the final nail in the franchise.

Re:There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918476)

Glad to see at least someone agrees with me on 13. Final Fantasy 12 hit what I feel to be the pinnacle of FF's battle system. It took some getting used to at first, admittedly. Once you have all of the gambits, the thing almost plays on remote control - BUT, at least it's a remote control that you choose.

FF13? Auto-Battle. Auto-Battle. Auto-Battle. Can I choose what they do when I hit Auto-Battle? No? Herky-jerky in-and-out of the battle system, which in FF12 became a seamless thing.

HUGE steps backwards on both of these titles apparently, because I just don't play MMO's. Get the battle designer from FF12, and make sure he heads up all of the action sequences in FF15. Story seems to be fine for FF13 - it's just the complete lack of a compelling action/battle sequence (or free-roaming of any type, really). Get back to the open world. That's what FF has always been. Tweak the battle system if you must, but DO NOT force this game into linearity.

Re:There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (1)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918486)

The problem isn't with the franchise or the lore not belonging in an MMO. In reality the lore is perfect for an MMO, it's rich and it provides for a very diverse base to build exactly what an MMO needs, depth and story. The problem is 100% one of implementation and the completely disregard for the proper way to build an MMO in the first place.

SE flat out didn't listen to the audience through beta when the vast problems were pointed out, very clearly. Simple things like the "locking" into an encounter where you can't even move your camera up and down (who the fuck thought of that) and not having jumping (and being forced to run around even the smallest bumps in the road or geography) to more serious issues like the complete lack of any depth whatsoever in the quests and story.

I mean seriously they didn't need to build another WoW but they CERTAINLY should have been building a game that contained the kinds of things that have been refined over years and years of all kinds of MMOs that present the user with an intuitive and somewhat "standardized" interface and interaction model.

SE failed FFXIV not the franchise or lore. It could have been great had they listened and learned from the past instead of being arrogant and closed to any outside influence and taking the "if it ain't created here we don't want it" approach to the design of the game.

Re:There aren't enough fixes in the world for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918772)

Yeah, you can tell the game is fucked: it has literally no fanbois.

Seriously, go through this story and the previous story [slashdot.org] , and you'll find that literally no one defends the game.

OK, so maybe that's just Slashdot, but even on Kotaku, no one is willing to stand up for the game. No one likes the game. There are no good reviews of it, anywhere. The best people are willing to say is that it might be a playable game in a year.

It's all over. Square Enix should just admit that they blew it and just close the doors on it. They have until December 7th [worldofwarcraft.com] to fix the game, and they've already announced that they'll miss that deadline. So forget it - it's all over.

All I see... (2, Funny)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917458)

Is it sad that those little characters on the side didn't make me think of Final Fantasy, but 8-Bit Theatre instead?

Re:All I see... (3, Funny)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918082)

Since those are from a 16-bit FF game, yes, it is sad.

Just let it die.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917462)

Then use a phoenix down.

Must be an MMO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917464)

Those are never finished when they release them.

SE Stole My Play Time (4, Interesting)

ThePolkapunk (826529) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917472)

I already stopped my subscription to FFXIV. Even though I still had two weeks left before 30 day trial would've been over, they already disabled my logon. To me, this seems inexcusably bad. I paid for the game, which includes 30 days and they haven't given that to me. There's no way I'll be coming back.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917586)

Unfortunately, that's not that much worse than the status quo. Subscription based services rarely if ever give you money back for unused time if you cancel early. Carbonite kind of pissed me off in that the service seemed fine through the trial, but later on when it was trying to cope with more data I started to see problems which you wouldn't see during the trial.

But outright disabling the account before the paid time is up is dickish.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (2, Interesting)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917756)

Refunding for unused time? Yeah, that's pretty much never done. But so is blocking use of an account just because you cancelled your subscription before your paid for time is up. In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard of a game (or any other subscription service) working like this. It's like Square-Enix has never bothered to even READ about another MMO beside FFXI and is trying to reinvent the wheel. Only its a square.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917898)

Square is a highly insular company. They seem to think that they still know what they're doing and that the market hasn't moved on from 2003. There's no excuse for a UI this terrible in 2010 when you can do better simply by ripping off what everyone else is doing.

FF 11's UI was bad for its time. For a modern game it's a disgrace.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917918)

Usually, if you read the fine print, the 30 day trial 'offer' is only valid if you pay for at least one month of service. The fact that he could cancel his account before actually paying any money is what's unheard of. They're still dicks, but not as big dicks as they could be.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918672)

The size of their dickishnes is dwarfed by the magnitude of their stupidity. The guy is already a customer, but instead of trying to retain him, they (effectively) tell him to go fuck himself. It's bad business sense - retention is far cheaper than recruitment. Especially while your ex-customers are warning off potential ones.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917938)

Blizzard doesn't do that. If you get 30 days from the subscription you keep them even after you cancel it. I used the subscription method because I could pay 30 days at a time (my schedule is variable). And then I'd often cancel weeks in advance because I wasn't sure I could be playing another 30days after the first month and didn't want to forget and have them billing me for nothing.

Apparently they think EQ still reigns supreme (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918518)

Back in the Verant days, yes, MMOs were dicks to their players and that was ok (well ok in that people would put up with it). You canceled your account, they deleted your character and other silly punitive measures like that. However WoW showed everyone that isn't how you do things. You be nice to players. Cancel your account in a rage? No problem you can keep playing for all your paid time. You wanna come back later, even years later? No problem, all your characters are just as you left them, database space is cheap. Get really mad and delete your characters? No problem, they can be recovered from backup. Someone steal your account and sell all your hard earned shit? No problem, they can trace that and recover to an earlier state.

That is how things should be done and, no surprise, what gamers want now. Once Blizzard started doing that, other companies learned. SOE went and screamed at EQ's developers and producers and they went and recovered all the deleted characters and sent out a "Please come back and play we've restored your shit," e-mail and EQ and EQ2 now operate similar to WoW.

Square sounds like they are still in the old "Us vs them," mentality. The users are the enemy, and if they do something you don't like, such as cancel their account, they need to be punished. No, sorry guys. As a subscription service with lots of competitors, you are in the customer service business. That means making your customers happy PARTICULARLY your angry ones. If someone leaves in a huff, you want to be nice to them. Tell them "We're sorry to see you go, feel free to play out the remaining time, and come back any time you like." Maybe then later they change their mind. If you are a dick about it, more likely they do write you off forever.

Also I could potentially see this opening them up for a lawsuit. If the agreement is X dollars buys you Y days of access, and there are no refunds for partial time, then I can't see how it is ok to refuse to provide the complete paid time. If I call and cancel my cable, they'll shut it off immediately. However they will also refund all unused time. If I call and cancel my AC service contract, they won't refund my money, but it'll continue for the rest of the time I've paid.

Look, I hate EQ too but I don't think that's true (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918786)

Back in the Verant days, yes, MMOs were dicks to their players and that was ok (well ok in that people would put up with it). You canceled your account, they deleted your character and other silly punitive measures like that. However WoW showed everyone that isn't how you do things. You be nice to players. Cancel your account in a rage? No problem you can keep playing for all your paid time. You wanna come back later, even years later? No problem, all your characters are just as you left them, database space is cheap. Get really mad and delete your characters? No problem, they can be recovered from backup. Someone steal your account and sell all your hard earned shit? No problem, they can trace that and recover to an earlier state.

That is how things should be done and, no surprise, what gamers want now. Once Blizzard started doing that, other companies learned. SOE went and screamed at EQ's developers and producers and they went and recovered all the deleted characters and sent out a "Please come back and play we've restored your shit," e-mail and EQ and EQ2 now operate similar to WoW.

EQ did a lot of dumb things. Looking back, I often wonder why I bothered playing through such painful design decisions. The only reason I can come up with is I liked the idea of an MMRPG so much that I played despite the design, not because of it (not to mention that every following MMRPG tried to copy EQ's minor success by making the same boneheaded design decisions as EQ did, all the way up until WoW came on the scene and shook things up). When I speak of the game, it's the same way that I might speak of an ex-girlfriend who cheated on me, stole my money, and humiliated me in front of my family.

However, what you write about EQ's policies, as far as my bitter memories and experiences go, is a completely bogus and revisionist history.

EQ would not *guarantee* canceled accounts would remain after 3 months, however I've never once heard of them actually deleting accounts. I've known several people, myself included, who canceled anywhere between months and years and then came back with all their stuff intact.

As far as account restores go, the first maybe 2 or 3 years they did not do full restores on characters who had lost all of their stuff (usually due to dying in a weird place and not being able to get to your corpse... one of many dumb mechanics in the first few years). However, even back in those early days, they would often give you a starter kit that had gear to help get you back going again. This kit varied over time and sometimes sucked (but was far better than nothing) and sometimes was ok. However, further down the road, they did implement being able to further restore complete characters (as I had to have one done once).

And tying both of these together, they've even had players who *deleted* their characters, then canceled their accounts, then came back months later, and were successfully able to have their characters restored from the player's own deletion. However, I do have a vague recollection that they once announced that they were going to create a limit on how long they would store *deleted* characters before they would be permanently lost, but that's a far cry from what the above poster has stated.

This all happened before WoW came on the scenes, since I never touched EQ after WoW came out.

EQ was bad... but it wasn't because of the false reasons you gave.

Re:SE Stole My Play Time (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917766)

That's actionable, you should check and see if a hungry shark...er lawyer can cobble up a class action suit for all the other people they've done that to and force attorney's fees and a full refund.

The game needs more time... (5, Informative)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917492)

As a long time player of FFXI, as well as several other MMORPGs, my feelings were that a lot of the highly negative reviews were really harping on subjects that for the most part were irrelevant. That being said there is a LOT of work necessary to get this game going. I was about to cancel my subscription and wait 6 months and see where they were at.

AH, Interface issues, Repeating terrain graphics are all things that actually didn't matter much to me. I don't mind having to learn a new way of doing things for a new game. What got me frustrated quickly was that the world seemed to have no content.

One of the things I like about FF games is that when you're in a large city it tends to be well-developed, with lots of weird little quests among various townsfolk, and lots of hints about up and coming content that you won't see for hours, levels, or even at all depending on how you play. None of that is present in the game currently. Every step of the one major town quest (which is a chainquest) feels like a tutorial exercise (which it is of course)...not like environment deepening material.

The world is simply not alive enough. If you run around outside there are few monsters...no killer bunnies...95% of the mobs are instantly generated for a specific person's grind-quest and aren't attackable by anyone else.

I love FFXI, I love slow worldly feeling MMOs and regular RPGs, but at this point the game is a series of grindy-quests that you pick and choose at with no end-goal in sight...there is one story-arc quest line that gives you very little and reoccurs in your progression extremely infrequently.

At the moment the game feels like they got their basic systems down, but they've got nothing actually in the game that's game-like yet.

Re:The game needs more time... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918000)

You're kidding about the missing AH not being an issue, right? The entire crafting system in the game is set up to have higher level crafters creating materials for lower level crafters to use, along with crafts requiring materials from different crafting classes to create things. With no auction house, and a completely nonfunctional marketplace system that they have no intention of fixing, this makes crafting basically impossible.

Throw in the fact that basically all new gear comes from crafting, and you've got an incredibly broken system: crafters can't get the materials they need, noncrafters can't buy the gear that they want from crafters. An AH is essential to the game they set up, I have no idea why they decided to leave it out.

What I wanted from FFXIV was an updated FFXI for modern systems. I was hoping for a version of FFXI that learned the lessons that WoW taught the industry.

What we got was a game that didn't even learn the lessons Square Enix learned from FFXI. Most of the "new features" being added are things that FFXI already did.

Why they released the game this early I have no idea, but my best guess is that they simply don't care about PC users. This is a PS3 game first and foremost, and their "real" audience is Japanese PS3 owners. So they have a paid beta to get the system ready for the March PS3 release.

That being said, even if you're using a PS3-style controller to play the game, the UI is still incredibly clunky and unusable. So, uh, yeah.

Is it possible to reshape the game into something good? I have no clue, honestly: the game has a few good ideas hidden in it. The guildleve system would be a good idea if the concept were to limit the amount of gil generated over time. The problem is that there's nothing else to do other than grind guildleve quests - they needed to combine it with other content.

Likewise the crafting system could be good, if it were backed with a functioning auction house. But it isn't and there is no plan to add one.

So we're left with a game where even the good ideas become bad ideas. And while it's nice to hear that they'll address some of the UI issues, they seem to have completely ignored the elephant in the room: there's nothing to do in the game even if the interface were to be fixed.

Re:The game needs more time... (1)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918416)

I'm not saying the AH isn't an issue, just that it isn't one that concerned me terribly, I have no doubt that even if square wasn't planning to keep working with their current market system in hopes to replace the AH idea that players would work out a way to handle the situation.

The fact that people are still arguing about whether or not an AH is necessary (there are people in both camps), and that square is trying to find a new method shows me that this overall is a mild point...it is being worked on and developed and players are being asked to try new things...as I said before I have no problem with trying new things.

If my major disappointment in a game was that it's difficult to find the right things to buy or to get my stuff sold...to me that's not much of a complaint for a game unless I'm playing some kind of stock market simulator...it's just an annoyance that could be willingly overlooked and dealt with if a game has sufficiently interesting content otherwise...and I definitely trust in the ingenuity of players to come up with their own bizarre bazarr systems when the in game one doesn't work (which it does, but it needs some reworking...which it is getting).

The UI is not 'unusable,' if it were you wouldn't have so many complaints about the game as you would not have been able to play it. Whether you particularly care for it or not is another issue entirely. See my above point...I don't mind trying new things, (or old things for that matter in the case of much of the UI). I do agree that the lag is frustrating, but for the most part I found it to be minimal, with once in a while irritating hiccups that would likely be ironed out over time.

It is nice to see that ultimately we agree though on the big problem...no actual game content. Every major issue people bitch about besides this has the potential to be "worth putting up with" if the game had any game in it yet.

Re:The game needs more time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918842)

The world is simply not alive enough. If you run around outside there are few monsters...no killer bunnies...95% of the mobs are instantly generated for a specific person's grind-quest and aren't attackable by anyone else.

That was supposedly caused due to "server congestion."

Now that they're hemorrhaging what customers they had, they're increasing the monster spawn rate. Or increased. Or will increase in the November update. It's in one of the linked articles that lists the changes their making. Here:

Q. Where are all the monsters?
A. At the time of release, server load issues limited the number of enemies that could appear in areas where large amounts of PCs gathered, such as aetheryte camps situated near city-states. To alleviate this, we have increased the number of servers. This, combined with the fact that players are moving away from these areas and have begun to spread out over the world, will now allow us to increase the number of enemies roaming the realm.

Only one way out.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917502)

It's too late to make it a good game. But they can still make the game so bad it's good.

Re:Only one way out.... (2, Funny)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917610)

You mean, give it the Star Wars Galaxies treatment?

Re:Only one way out.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917758)

Bend it over and continually rape it?

This happens when you abandon consoles for PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917534)

Seriously, when was the last time you played a bugged-out game on a console? Do you need more than one hand to count the times? (and I don't count the PS3 and the XBox as consoles... really)

Re:This happens when you abandon consoles for PCs (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917614)

Back then that largely applied to PC releases as well. Because it was difficult to impossible to apply patches after the fact, the portion of the budget spent on QA ahead of time was much greater than it is today. A lot of what's released today would have been considered completely unacceptable to developers of yore.

But it's also the release schedule, while 3D Realms took it too far, there is something to be said for releasing a product when it's done. The main mistake they made was not sticking with an engine and not defining a fixed list of features. Had they done that and released it when the bugs were fixed, we wouldn't be waiting for Gearbox to finish it up.

Nothing against Gearbox, I've been playing borderlands for a few days now and have yet to come across a single bug. Which I couldn't say at that point for the poster boy for incompetent QA that is Fallout 3.

How bad is it? (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917552)

Let's say what gamerankings says:
Final Fantasy XIV: 51.43% [gamerankings.com]
Daikatana: 54.08% [gamerankings.com]

That's a "throw it in the garbage bin and start over" rating.

Re:How bad is it? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917612)

Well, it's not as bad as the N64 version of Daikatana.

So, they got that going for 'em.

Re:How bad is it? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918312)

I'm afraid gamerankings is broken: it has Civilization V at over 90%, even though most of those who played it long enough (i.e. at least 350 turns) have run into the various crashes, the 69 city limit, the large map crashes, the extremely limited (moronic?) AI etc.

Re:How bad is it? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918700)

You appear to have just argued that Gamerankings rates too highly. If you had a point to make, I think you've just fallen on it.

Re:How bad is it? (1)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918362)

Oh come on. 50% rating is small potatoes when it comes to bad. You wanna see the worst? Rogue Warrior. 29% at Metacritic. [metacritic.com] Daikatana is an absolute classic compared to this steaming turd. Look at is scores. It didn't get a single positive review. It's so bad it doesn't even circle back around to good. On steam, it came with the QuakeCon package. I've benn too scared to install it. What if it destroys my machine through sheer awfulness

If a company must perform damage control... (3, Interesting)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917570)

... I would like them to perform this kind of damage control. You know, the kind of damage control that involves listening to your user-base.

Mind you, it's not like they had a choice.

Re:If a company must perform damage control... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918646)

They didn't listen. They're completely refusing to implement an auction house. Of any kind. It was bugged over and over again in beta and ignored. You can only personal bazaar items, and you'll be restricted to certain areas of the map depending on what you're selling.

That one alone is a full out game breaker. Add in all the things that simply weren't finished but sit there in front of the user teasing them, the piss poor performance of everything including simply navigating the menu system, and all the flat out bugs... honestly, they've taken a step BACKWARDS from their first MMO release. I'm really blown away by how bad the whole thing is, coming from a company typically known for the super high level of polish and spit-shine they do on everything they put out.

I wouldn't have given it even a 50% rating as a games magazine, unlike many places. I would have written "Incomplete" on it and marked a 0 in the grade book.

Patch due in "Late November" (3, Informative)

whoda (569082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917590)

Holy shit, they aren't even releasing the patch for over a month?
  I don't even play this and that sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Re:Patch due in "Late November" (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918038)

Yeah, once they've got rid of everyone on the current 30 day thing they can restart as if nothing happened!

Re:Patch due in "Late November" (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918058)

Yeah, and that patch is basically full of bug fixes and things that should never have missed beta. Like being able to sort your inventory or reply to tells.

Also note that "late November" is just long enough for the extended free trial to have run out.

Re:Patch due in "Late November" (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918894)

I'd be more worried about whether it's actually going to come out in late November with the promised features. If you look over the list, it's much more than a bugfix release; they're promising to do major surgery on the game, add missing features, etc.

SE is the George Lucas of game design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917600)

I never thought about this until now, but you can draw alot of comparisons to Square/Enix and George Lucas. Both knocked a 3-4 early projects out of the park. But now just release products intended on demo'ing your home theater setup.

Glad they heard... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917662)

The problem is the same with all big game corps. $$ drives the project timelines. Namely now $$ as apposed to future $$. It should have cooked for another month. There is really no excuse for a game to be released with out a proper market (which the last patch just tried to fix) Over all though, I like the game. The very crafting dependant economy really interests me, and I've found a great guild (Linkshell) which has really provided me with a warm community of adult players that also have day jobs (yes this is a shameless plug for LS Event Horizon, on the Saronia NA server).

I'm looking forward to what it will become not what it is today. If you want to try it wait a month what you see then will likely be much better that what I found a few days after release.

What I'm really hoping for is that this combined with EA louse's dirty laundry will start to convince game corps that they can't just release unfinished games and then try to make it up to the customers. At least not in the MMO space.

Here's some damage control (4, Interesting)

dominion (3153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917672)

Now would be the time to announce PS3 remakes of Final Fantasy VI and VII, available together for $29.

Re:Here's some damage control (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917708)

I'd actually run out and buy a PS3 for that.

Re:Here's some damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917736)

No, no no no. Now would be the time for them to give us our shortlist of demands:

1. Every player gets an airship. You get your choice of a Red Wings, Blackjack, or Highwind.
2. M-Tek Armor. I don't care how many of those pussie espers you have to drain to charge my batteries.
3. 3 pounds of hair gel, so we can all sport a "Cloud" look.
4. No fucking moogles. Seriously. If I see one more of those cute bastards say "Kupo!", I'm going to desperation attack the hell out of someone.
5. Naked furries on the unavoidable card game system. Hey, don't judge me! We all have fetishes!
6. An official apology splash screen every time the game loads up, trying to seek forgiveness for the final fantasy 8 "draw" system.

Do that and the game will be a success.

Kupo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917866)

Kupo! Kupo! Kupo!

Re:Here's some damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917752)

Or, they could, you know, let me run the FF V and VI I already have? Just what are they gaining by the region restrictions for PS1 games when they're not allowing new ones to be made? But on the other hand, the only way they could make this change is through a firmware update, and the recent firmwares would not only break functionality the machine was sold for but also destroy access to my data, so it's not bloody likely I'll accept one of those. Yeah, I'd not advise getting a PS3. Or anything SCE.

Re:Here's some damage control (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918176)

You don't own Final Fantasy Anthology or Final Fantasy Chronicles? They work just fine on a PS3.

Re:Here's some damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918506)

Yes, that's exactly what I do - I own Final Fantasy Anthology, and my PS3 refuses to play it.

Re:Here's some damage control (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917842)

I'm such a whore for those two games in particular, I'd buy 'em. (Assuming the graphics were updated, and updated ONLY the graphics. We don't want "gameplay improvements" tyvm.)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the fact that PSXeven + some ISO's pulled from my FFVI and VII discs make the games themselves playable on any computer I'll own for a long, long time. But let's face it, FFVII is farking DISGUSTINGLY UGLY at 1600x1200. Argh.

Re:Here's some damage control (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918160)

The PS3 download version is more ugly. ePSXe lets me screw with video options till I get it looking better. PS3 has one option: full screen blur.

on an unrelated note, I think the PS3's software emulation of psx games is based heavily on ePSXe, based on graphical/game glitches i've seen common to both.

Re:Here's some damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918272)

you, sir, are on the money. I still play VII from time to time, and *still* find new things to enjoy about it. Oh for the days before Enix...

Paid Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917692)

It's just a paid Beta. Kinda like Microsoft products.

/Anon troll
//You can't see me.

Re:Paid Beta (2)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917848)

In this case, it's surprisingly true. If you look at the stuff they're adding, its not that advanced. It's basic functionality. Like searching for items ala an auction house, rather then clicking on every store trying to see if what you want is even for sale. Oh, and scrolling the map, and replying to messages.

No serious company would release a game with basic stuff like that missing... which shows you how seriously Square takes this game on the PC. You're buying a beta test for the PS3 version, nothing more.

guess it wasn't the Final Final Fantasy (0, Redundant)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917750)

what a terrible title

Re:guess it wasn't the Final Final Fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917808)

You probably know this, but it is called Final Fantasy because the Square designer Sakaguchi was retiring and it was going to be his last game. It wasn't designed to have sequels but Square was going bankrupt and needed to cash in on the success.

Some people also think it is called Final Fantasy because Square was doing so poorly that if it failed it would have been their last game.

Wow (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918434)

I do believe you're the first person who has ever pointed this out. Thanks! I certainly wouldn't have realized it.

It's too late, and the game is too far behind (5, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917836)

Having played this game and read the list of "updates", they don't have a prayer. The "updates" are more like basic features and UI stuff that no serious MMO would launch without.

- They're adding a way to "search retainers in a ward for specific items." aka: Functionality like an auction house. It's good that they're adding this. It's not good that they launched the game with a system that was so completely and fundamentally broken at the design level that it never should have been let out of alpha. Seriously, someone thought it was a good idea to make players wander around from retainer to retainer in the hope of finding item that they need, in a game where crafting is heavily dependent on player made inputs? Have these people ever played a MMO?

- They're also adding a shortcut to reply to whisper messages directly. Which is good, since you can't right now. Again, who ever heard of a MMO where you can't reply to messages? This isn't rocket science, it's the most basic chat functionality on the planet. (While they're at it they should make message size limits something slightly larger then a twitter message.)

- They're adding a way to let you scroll the map with the mouse. Seriously. Go read it yourself. You can't scroll the map with a mouse. In a PC game. I can't make shit this stupid up.

These are just some of the changes. They're also hitting the broken targetting system (target, pick a spell, then... target again? For real? Who thought this up?). Hopefully they do something about the poor performance and terrible stability of the client. But it won't matter.

You only get one chance to make an impression in the MMO market. Recovering from the perception that you've got a bad game is extremely difficult after the fact. This game has nothing going for it except that it's pretty (if you spend enough on a computer that can actually run it with acceptable performance). In basically every other area, it's inferior to that other game that has 12 million players and just happens to have an expansion launching at the same time as the patch that will add basic functionality to FF 14.

And if you get past that, shortly after there's some Star Wars MMO coming out. Between those two games, a buggy PS3 port with the worst UI a MMO has ever seen has no chance of recovering. It'll be running at 80,000 subs (if they're lucky) in 6 months. Fortunately for them, it's really meant as a PS3 game anyway and on the PS3 the competition is much weaker.

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (1)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918090)

- They're adding a way to "search retainers in a ward for specific items." aka: Functionality like an auction house. It's good that they're adding this. It's not good that they launched the game with a system that was so completely and fundamentally broken at the design level that it never should have been let out of alpha. Seriously, someone thought it was a good idea to make players wander around from retainer to retainer in the hope of finding item that they need, in a game where crafting is heavily dependent on player made inputs? Have these people ever played a MMO?

- They're also adding a shortcut to reply to whisper messages directly. Which is good, since you can't right now. Again, who ever heard of a MMO where you can't reply to messages? This isn't rocket science, it's the most basic chat functionality on the planet. (While they're at it they should make message size limits something slightly larger then a twitter message.)

I never played FFXIV, but it sounds like they hired the developers of most korean MMORPGs to design and code their interfaces...

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918728)

I never played FFXIV, but it sounds like they hired the developers of most korean MMORPGs to design and code their interfaces...

Bingo! Which also means that by the time the PS3 launch hits, 90% of the PC 'players' will be farmer bots. Heck, maybe that's their plan - outsource the AI to the h4xx0rz.

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918118)

They're also adding a shortcut to reply to whisper messages directly.

The funny thing is that, yes you can. It's bugged as hell. Control-R currently pulls up a tell to the last person you sent a tell to, not who sent a tell to you. So basically, they're listing a bug fix as a feature.

(While they're at it they should make message size limits something slightly larger then a twitter message.)

The going theory is that the limit was designed for Japanese text. Because it's fairly clear that Square Enix never has and never will listen to feedback from outside of Japan. (Even this is them responding to complaints from Japan.)

(target, pick a spell, then... target again? For real? Who thought this up?)

You can skip the first "target" step, technically, although you wouldn't want to. It also makes sense when you learn that when targeting the second time, you have the option to toggle AOE on or off, so it's more of a "confirm your attack" thing. I forget the keyboard shortcut to do it, but you can click on the button.

They explain the AOE system in the ... no, wait, who am I kidding, of course they didn't! I found it by trial and error.

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918220)

Have these people ever played a MMO?

They're Japanese, so probably not. I still think it was a mistake for Square to shut down their US centric studio. If they'd have kept that up they'd have some Americans working for them that actually know about table top RPG's and MMORPG's. Did you know that JRPG's weren't inspired directly by D&D but second hand via games like Ultima, Bards Tale and Wizardry?

Reading your info about the game makes me think that FFXI is the better Square-Enix MMORPG since it has most of those missing features.

Fortunately for them, it's really meant as a PS3 game anyway and on the PS3 the competition is much weaker.

The only MMORPG competition on the PS3 are two PS2 games that can't be played on the Slim's, Square-Enix's own FFXI and SOE's Everquest Online Adventures Frontiers. I played them both and when it gets down to it, even though EQOA didn't have the grand storyline of FFXI, it was more "Fun" and felt less like work.

I did a trial of WoW some months back, just to see what it was like (i'm a console gamer) and it reminded me of a more user-friendly EQOA.

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918322)

OMG! JRPGs were not inspired by D&D, blasphemy! Blasphemy I say!

Re:It's too late, and the game is too far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33918908)

Did you know that JRPG's weren't inspired directly by D&D but second hand via games like Ultima, Bards Tale and Wizardry?

I knew the former, but the latter I wasn't aware of. Given I was always under the impression that JRPGs were inspired by taking a static, wholly non-dynamic story of some sort (a novel, a movie, the plot to some random anime, etc) and applying the barest minimum of "interaction" to qualify it as a "game". I mean, how many JRPGs can you think of whose challenges are, say, decisions, and not just roadblocks to seeing the next cutscene?

Note my implication is that you should try naming a significant amount of JRPGs that do that and can counter an overwhelming list of JRPGs that don't.

XIVLVM*&ß? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33917846)

it should be released as Final Fantasy Free.

Re:XIVLVM*&ß? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918512)

Like what happened to the LotR MMMORPG?
That one is so bad (bland, repetitive maps & quests, retarted monster AI, tons of bugs even in the current version) that even making it Free-To-Play won't do it much good (it's a miracle people even subscribed to it in the first place).

3 lessons in MMORPG delpoyment (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33917880)

Lesson one is: Set up servers in specific geographical locations. Players do not want to play with 1200-1500ms latency. Players do not like it when they lose the competitive advantage because of something they have no control over.

Lesson two is: Do not release the game until it is finished. Finished means having end-game content on release. It is essential that the hardcore players feel comfortable from the beginning... THEY are the foundation of your game's diversity because they are the ones who truly keep the economy and community churning. This seems obvious, but a long string of MMORPG failures point to this not being followed.

Lesson three is: If players have come to expect certain things of a new MMORPG, like an in-game mail system, auction house, and custom keyboard bindings, then you had better damn well have those in your game if you hope to have the success of the current vanguards of the industry. If all you're going for is a place that fanboys can be self-delusional and happy, great, you can succeed without such things. But be aware that you're creating an insular player base and the reason you have fanboys at all is because of previous great work you did, not this current garbage. It is not sustainable, and you will go out of business.

Re:3 lessons in MMORPG delpoyment (1)

rWagz (1661659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918514)

Squeenix has anticipated your gripes about no endgame being present in their latest masterpiece, and their solution is the Fatigue System! They promise that it's only to level the playing field between casual gamers and the MMORPG IS SRS BSNS crowd. It's certainly not an attempt to stretch out their meager content by restricting character growth. Cue the mildly condescending video where they explain it to the masses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abE09-tqhoM [youtube.com]

Re:3 lessons in MMORPG delpoyment (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918820)

Counter-point one: the Japanese people are basically Klingons - they hate and despise everyone else, and will have no problems in tilting the playing field in favour of the Homeland. Japanese studios would rather lose 100 US subscribers due to unplayable than one domestic one due to being pwned by gaijin scum, not because it makes financial sense, but just because we are Klingons.

Counter-point two: the PC release is just a beta for the PS3 version. There are six PCs in the whole of Japan, and five of them are used exclusively for hentai. Nothing that happens on PC matters. I doubt they'll even support the PC after the PS3 version ships.

Counter point three: the players who matter have no expectations, beyond being able to dick around with midget cat rabbits, or whatever the hell those munchkins in FF are. The players who matter are all Japanese, although Wapanese are also welcome as long as they don't get uppity. Being insular is an implicit design goal, not a failure.

so yeah right, 30 more days (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918226)

so were back in beta officially ? who will go through a boring buggy game 30 more days ? people complained about a missing auction house or item search functions since start of beta. SEs big fix was "renaming" the zones where the market npcs are standing (glovemaker ward, smithy ward etc.) and expects players to set up their retainers there voluntary at the rght place. and this took them 4 weeks after their big announcement.

"Free trial not free" (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918308)

still got to pay 50 bucks for the FF haters on slashdot to say "see i told ya so"

Re:"Free trial not free" (1)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918692)

No, I can say that I hate FF without giving them a damn cent

Servers in Japan (1)

nopdim (1922916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918382)

Right now, all the servers are only in Japan. I'm playing from the U.S., and I have a pretty high ping, placing me at a disadvantage.

Re:Servers in Japan (1)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918580)

disadvantage for what exactly?

I'm not trying to call you out, I'm just trying to understand what I've missed. There aren't any NMs and there's no PvP...are you really having that much of a hard time with kill stealing?

or are you just talking about the game not running very well because of it?

Re:Servers in Japan (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918702)

Everything in the UI requires a round trip from the server. You equip and item, the UI locks up until the server says "OK." You equip a skill, the UI locks up until the server says "OK." You talk to an NPC, the UI locks up until the server agrees that you're done talking with them.

Visiting a shop? UI locks up until the server tells you what the vendor is selling.

All of this is just bad design, but throw in the fact that the servers are halfway across the world and what's presumably an unnoticeable delay to the developers becomes a giant issue to the players.

But this is an issue that will never be fixed, because Square Enix considers "international servers" to be a feature - never mind the fact that no one wants that feature.

Re:Servers in Japan (1)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33918812)

I understand UI lag (game runs like crap, I'm well aware), I'm trying to understand "disadvantage."

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